Amidst what seems to be a never-ending corona discussion, I'm also dealing with another illness, and its name is loneliness.
I don't know about you, but I've taken a time-out from watching the news lately. It seems like the panic is never-ending and the media is always ready to remind me how the death toll has risen on the daily. 2020 was meant to be the year that would bring shame to previous years. The euphoric feeling of blessings and breakthroughs had caused many of us to welcome the year with open arms, and after fast-forwarding three months I want a refund.
Amidst what seems to be a never-ending corona discussion, I'm also dealing with another illness - a more vicious and taunting one -, and its name is loneliness. I bring this up because many of us are affected by this during quarantine: we are isolated, bombarded with negativity from the media and confined to one single space for a lot longer than we’d hoped for. We are separated from the things and people that bring us the most joy when we’re having our downs: no friends to give you a hug, no cafe, no work to distract you. Instead it's just you alone with your thoughts.
The first week of quarantine was probably the worst, as I refused to accept this as my temporary reality. The idea of being completely alone for so long made my tummy tighten and made me fear where my mind would travel to. Would I sit in bed overwhelmed by crippling thoughts for days? What if something happened and I needed someone to be with me? How would I deal with feeling depressed and would I just sit it out, cross my fingers and hope for the best?
No one wants to deal with themselves when they're feeling down. We'd rather drink, smoke, and hang out with our friends in order to lose ourselves the best way we know how. For many of us, this is how we chose to live, with distractions becoming a necessity to our daily life. By now we are experiencing withdrawals. The things we never wanted to deal with and grow through are now the only things swimming through our minds, making many of us feel inferior and almost helpless.
Nonetheless, I want to encourage those reading this that this period isn't meant to be seen as a season of misery and hopelessness. We are in a time where we have the opportunity to face and fight our inner demons, to look in the mirror and accept the things we cannot change. The opportunity to nurture and cultivate our souls and gifts, make peace with those that harmed us and reflect on those that have loved us. And no matter how much bigger it may feel, it's not. Instead remind yourself that this is your body, your brain, your heart, your thoughts and your happiness. As hard as it may seem, you still very much are in control and in this season I’m learning to fight for my control and peace.
As I enter week 4 of quarantine, I'm personally realizing that my happiness doesn't come from external factors. I began to write again: I wrote about my perfect fairytale, my Prince Charming smiling at me proudly - because he knew I didn't need saving -, or wearing a Haribo gummy bear bikini while swimming in a pool of Alpro chocolate milk. I made a list of things I needed to accomplish before the end of the year and topping that list is having breakfast at a seaside cafe wearing a floral dress with a grand view of the ocean in Porto, Portugal.
I've had the pleasure of rediscovering myself and falling in love with the person I am, while protecting my happiness. I invite you to give yourself a chance.